CHICAGO (AFP) – Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams returned to the All Blacks with impressive showings Saturday in a 74-6 rout of the United States to launch their Northern Hemisphere tour.
Code-hopping star Williams, at centre after two years in Australia’s Rugby League, joined Julian Savea in scoring two tries in the romp ahead of Tests the next three weeks in England, Scotland and Wales.
Fly-half Dan Carter, the world record points scorer who has been out with a broken leg since the Super 15 final, played the final 30 minutes in his 101st All Blacks appearance, this one with primarily a second-level squad.
The All Blacks humbled the 18th-ranked Eagles in their first US appearance in 34 years came before a record US rugby crowd of more than 61,000 spectators at Soldier Field, home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Nathan Harris, Cory Jane, Patrick Tuipulotu, and Charles Piutau added first-half tries for the reigning World Cup champions while Joe Moody, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg and Sam Cane struck in the second half.
Fill-in captain Kieran Read, who along with Dagg and Jane were the only starters back from the 15 who beat Australia last month, was pleased with the All Blacks effort a week before they visit Twickenham.
Harris opened the scoring and Dagg split two defenders and offered a backhand offload to Jane, who raced down the right sideline for a 12-3 lead.
The Americans, who managed only five training sessions since June, still seek their first try in four matches against the All Blacks, denied from five meters early and settling for two Adam Siddall penalties to pull within 12-6.
Tuipulotu and Williams raced up the middle for tries 90 seconds apart, both off feeds from Ryan Crotty, and Williams flipped to Piutau for a run down the left to make it 31-6.
Williams faked a defender off his feet for another try and Read set up Savea’s left wing run for a 43-6 half-time edge.